When peace finally came upon the reign of David, the first thing David wanted to do was to build a fitting house for God. How magnificent was the temple in David’s mind! How appropriate would it be for David, who defeated many enemies of God’s people, to build a temple to glorify His name! So intuitively good was the idea, that prophet Nathan didn’t even bother to ask for God’s approval. But God had a different view. God told David, “You shall not build a house for my name”.
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Matthew 6:1-2)
It might seem incredible that people in Jesus’ ministry were practicing charitable deeds who were motivated to do so because they wanted to be acknowledged by others. But it might not seem all that incredible when we think about how the motives behind this is the human nature, pride.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify.
It’s been almost eight years ever since I came to Taiwan to pursue a doctorate degree. Upon knowing that the school had offered an unconditional full scholarship for four years, I was enthusiastic to move to Taiwan despite my poor proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Although I’m a Malaysian Chinese, I grew up in a non-traditional Chinese family, adopting mostly western values instead. At home, we mainly spoke in Cantonese and English. While I was in elementary school and high school, the medium of instruction was in Malay language. Unsurprisingly, I was known by friends as a “banana” (a person of Chinese origin with yellow skin but isn’t well-versed with Chinese language, particularly Mandarin Chinese). Since many people knew that I didn’t know Mandarin Chinese, they were indeed surprised and amazed that I was coming to Taiwan.